Lesson Ideas using Creativity Apps

Apple have released a series of interactive books which give educators ideas on how to use some creativity apps in their classroom. The books are free and are easy to follow, with examples for all ages and subjects.


For the link to download any of the books click here.

Keyboard extensions


With new Keyboard extensions you can plug in keyboards from other apps and use them across a range of other apps. This allows a user to unlock the power of some impressive Keyboards and use them in their favourite apps. One such Keyboard extension is Lowercase.

Lowercase Keyboard is a custom keyboard that uses both lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as a simplified set of numbers and special characters. The keyboard has been designed with primary students in mind.  

Lowercase Keyboard follows the layout of the default keyboard closely so it is easy to use. The font of the Lowercase Keyboard is "OpenDyslexic" which has been created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. 


Another useful keyboad extension comes from Assistiveware, and is called Keedogo/Keeble. Which is available in 3 versions. Keedogo for students just learning to read, write and type. Keedogo Plus, which includes Automatic Captialisation and word prediction. While, Keeble is an iOS keyboard that allows users with fine motor-challenges, switch users and users with vision impairments to type in any app.


The keyboard provides a simplified layout with just the essential keys so early writers can focus only developing their skills rather than being distracted by symbols and functions they don’t yet need.

Keedogo offers the possibility to choose a QWERTY or ABC layout. Featuring lowercase letters and color-coded vowels, learning has never been easier. Keedogo can be used in any app as an alternative to the standard iOS keyboard.

The Dead - James Joyce App out now












'The Dead' is regarded by many as the greatest short story of the twentieth century. The closing story of 'Dubliners', it begins with a party in Ushers Island on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany and the last night of Christmas. To mark the centenary of the publication of Dubliners, UCD Humanities Institute is delighted to announce the release of an exciting new iPad app - including the full story read by renowned actor Barry McGovern plus period images and audio commentaries.

At number 15 Ushers Island, on the 6th of January, Kate and Julia Morkan hold their annual dinner party. Gabriel Conroy and his wife enjoy the company, dancing and music. When his wife hears the folksong, ‘The Lass of Aughrim’ sung plaintively by another guest, she remembers the young man who once loved her and sang to her on another snowy night. And Gabriel discovers his marriage and his life are not all he imagined them to be.

Quizzem - The Junior Cert Biology Game


A multiplayer quiz game designed to help you remember all the information required for the Junior Cert Biology exam. Play with family or friends!


The game is made for 2, 3 or 4 players and it's main goal is to encourage fun, co-operative learning, improve literacy and numeracy skills alongside improving exam results. It also provides a way for parents to get involved in their child's learning. They can support them at home just by playing the game. 

Wikilinks... Visual Maps of Wikipedia



A visual and engaging way to use Wikipedia and related content.
Presenting your search and it's links as a mind map, this is one for fans of Wikipedia. It has some great features built in to allow a user to modify Font size, backgrounds and themes. So students with dyslexia and/or visual impairments can change the colour of themes to suit their needs. 
From the app itself you can download content to view offline, watch related youtube clips, as well as scan the photgraphs attached to the related Wikipedia links. 



Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...


For those days when you simply can't decide, or you want to leave some things to fate! This app is a simple spinning wheel allowing you or your students to let the spin of a wheel make a decision for them.


Whether you load it with Essay topics, exam times... it's all up to you!


The app is called Decide Now, and there is a 'Lite' version also available. 

Speaking in tongues? Voice translator





This Voice translator app does exactly as it describes. You can speak directly into your iPad and have it translate into a variety of languages. It does rely on understanding what you have to say, so if this becomes and issue you can type what you want it to translate and it will work for you. 


Useful for Language teachers, students or just for that weekend break away!


Speed up your iPad and Reduce Motion





iOS7 has increased the amount of animation involved in opening up apps. Once you click on an app, it automatically Zooms up to begin. Added to this is the Parallax effect behind the icons on the home page which make the icons appear to float as your device is tilted. 
With this quick and easy tutorial you can turn off these animations to save time between apps and increase your productivity.



Annotate on your live camera feed... Stage













One of the most powerful uses of your iPad in any classroom is the camera. It is a mobile visualiser and is, quite, probably the app I use the most in any class. So what if you could combine the power of an interactive whiteboard with the camera? Well Stage delivers just that. You can annotate on top of your live camera feed, and like most whiteboard apps you can record your class as a movie. (The movie file automatically gets saved to your camera roll) 

As Stage is an interactive Whiteboard app, it also allows other backgrounds from a standard whiteboard and with an in-app purchase you can include Maps, Sheet Music, Graph Paper and ruled Paper. 


Videos are saved at the following resolutions:
• Low: 320x240
• Med: 640x640
• High: 1280x720
The file size depends on the dimensions and length of your video.
• Low(~3.2MB per minute)
• Medium (~26MB per minute)
• High (~170MB per minute)
Depending on the remaining storage capacity of your device, you may be able to save videos as long as 120 minutes. But I'd recommend keeping your videos short to keep them manageable. Keep in mind that video sharing sites, like YouTube, generally limit video lengths. Also, long videos will take a long time to save, export, and send.






Add Phonetic Guides to your Pages to help literacy and language skills


Use Phonetic Guides in Pages/Keynote/Numbers to help your students break down words and pronunciation. Originally designed for Chinese, Japanese or Korean text, once you have enabled the featured there is nothing to stop you from using it on other languages or general literacy skills. 


You will need to enable one of the Chinese, Korean or Japanese keyboards. Even if you never use the keyboard itself, by doing so you are unlocking the features of that keyboard.


Feel Free to Share this image on other sites or with Friends 


Word scramble game for Literacy



A simple, yet addictive, word scramble game that will put you up against the clock to find as many words as possible. 
All words need to be at least three letters long, and at the end of each game a full list of words appears, allowing you try again or start a brand new random selection of letters.


In the home setting you can modify how much of a time limit you set for each game!


Explore with this 3D interactive globe


An app that's easy to use, full of information and looks good too. Earth 101 for iPad, gives you an interactive 3D globe that is extremely visual as well as informative.


There are over 1100 geographic objects, and 250 wonders of the world to discover. You can view weather information, geographic maps and political maps. Single taps of your finger will reveal further information about labelled locations .



Brand new iBooks from NUI Galway

Click on the book to open in iBooks
Click on the book to open in iBooksClick on book to open in iBooksClick on the book to open in iBooks




After previously featuring the Science Hooks from NUI Galway, these brand new iBooks focus on Geography field investigations and the techniques required to complete them. Jam packed with videos, interactive maps, slide shows, chapter reviews and quizzes to help you explore the impressive scenery around Connemara and the coast of Mayo. 


The Gaeilge versions are available for free, while the English version are available at a small price.



A collaborative Whiteboard app - Talkboard by Citrix



Bring interactive whiteboards to a brand new collaborative level. This app allows multiple users to draw, sketch, brainstorm or simply write on a blank screen and watch as others collaborate on their work in real time!
Simple to use, with a nice interface. The task can be whatever you choose: draw a volcano, do a maths problem, brainstorm an idea or simply draw together. 
It is a brand new app and developers are taking feedback, through the app, asking users what would they like to see added. Some quick suggestions from me: access to the camera roll, a record feature, and address the issue that you have to login using a social profile (which may put this app out of the hands of primary school children who would have great use for it!) None of these take away that the app, even at this current level is a fantastic tool that can be used for many tasks:
  •  Whiteboarding
  • Sketching ideas
  • Taking notes
  • Brainstorming
  • Diagrams
  • Drafting presentations
  • Drawing
  • Wireframing
  • Playing with the kids


Try it out for yourself today. It is free to download!



Time to revisit Keynote

 Video created by Ciarán McCormack in 2011

Keynote - Apple


In part 2, of our series this week, we are taking a look at Keynote. The trick to learning Keynote is to forget all those menus and drop downs that you may have learnt using Powerpoint. The buttons are simply:


Paint brush - for formatting (it's dynamic so if you text selected it will format text, picture selected it format the picture)

+ Button - allows you to add new things to a slide, media (pictures and movies), tables, charts 2D and 3D, and shapes including Text boxes for additional text!

Spanner - For all the other bells and whistles you expect, including sharing to other people and apps, hyperlinks to websites and other slide etc.


Play Button - when you have your presentation ready for display!

Keynote is the most powerful presentation app ever designed for a mobile device. Built from the ground up for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, it makes creating a world-class presentation — complete with animated charts and transitions — as simple as touching and tapping. Use full-screen view to present right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Or use video mirroring to present it on an HDTV, and preview your slides and notes on your device using the presenter display. Keynote works with iCloud, so your presentations stay up to date across all your iOS devices — automatically.

Time to revisit iMovie

 Video created by Ciarán McCormack in 2011

iMovie - Apple


As part 3 of our series this week, we take a look at iMovie. 

iMovie will allow your students to put together impressive, professional looking videos demonstrating their understanding of any topic.

 Make beautiful HD movies anywhere with iMovie, the fast and fun moviemaking app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Designed for the Multi-Touch screen, iMovie puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips. Browse and play projects in the Marquee view. Make a movie in minutes by adding video, photos, music and sound effects. Then give it the Hollywood treatment by adding a theme, titles and transitions. And you can share share your movie with the world – right from iMovie.